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37 Comp. Lab. L. & Pol'y J. 461 (2015-2016)
Crowdsourcing, the Gig-Economy, and the Law

handle is hein.journals/cllpj37 and id is 497 raw text is: 








         INTRODUCTION: CROWDSOURCING,
         THE GIG-ECONOMY, AND THE LAW


                          Valerio De Stefanot

     This special issue of the Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal
deals with the labor aspects of an emerging phenomenon that currently goes
under a varied array of more or less catchy labels, such as the gig-economy,
the on demand economy, the sharing economy, or the 1099 economy,
to name but the most popular. It is certainly a very hip topic at the moment,
with related news making headlines almost every day and prompting an ever-
increasing social and policy debate. This special issue aims to provide a
comprehensive analytical study of work in the gig-economy, and to test the
validity of several assumptions underlying the general debate.
     The articles published herein were presented during a special seminar
held at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in November
2015; some of them had already been discussed during two special sessions
of the IVRegulatingfor Decent Work Conference, at the International Labour
Office, in Geneva, in July 2015. The choice of participants has been driven
by the conviction that a meaningful examination of the labor issues raised by
the gig-economy has to cover the vastest range of legal questions possible
but also needs to be accompanied by a strong interdisciplinary analysis.
     The contributions collected in this issue thus cover some key legal,
economic, business, computer-science, and sociological aspects of platform
work. Despite their variety, however, all contributions are linked by several
common threads. First, they attempt to balance an in-depth and specialized
analysis with a general presentation of the subject, to meet the interest of both
those who are well-versed in the topic as well as the novice reader.
     The other feature they share is what, in Italian, we would call a laico
approach. In Italian, we use the term laico (literally: laic, secular) to
indicate an unprejudiced attitude. It is probably safe to say that the
contributions to this special issue share a laico approach as they neither
commit themselves to a doom-laden vision of the risks associated to gig-
economy nor buy an unapologetic and gilded view of the opportunities it

    t International Labour Office; Bocconi University. The views expressed here and in other parts of
this special issues are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ILO.

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